Free and Easy Newsletter
Spring Edition - April 2014
This month, we're announcing an upcoming event due to be held at the College on behalf of JISC RSC Northern, as well as our new 60 Second Inspiration feature and two great Free and Easy tools that can be used for teaching and learning.
For those new to Middlesbrough College, Free and Easy newsletters are created by the E-Learning team to promote the use of e-learning tools and web based apps for teaching and learning. If you have any questions or would like to contact us, our details are at the bottom of the newsletter.
60 Second Inspiration
JISC Technology Roadshow - 30th June
It will offer you the chance to 'try before you buy' and look at some of the devices and technologies that can be used for teaching and learning, as well as sessions on using technology to create content, create assessments and manage the progression of students.
Throughout the day, the E-Learning team will also be offering a number of taster sessions on various web-based technologies.
The Roadshow will be open to any organisations in the region who work with learning technologies and JISC RSC Northern, so it will also be a chance for us to show others what we do here in the College.
Keep your eyes peeled for further information on the Staff Portal and via Blackboard and Free and Easy nearer the time. More information about JISC RSC Northern can be found below.
You can embed YouTube videos, include links to websites and insert images and documents. The content can then be arranged in a particular order, depending on the design you choose for your Blendspace. It is an excellent tool to use for lessons involving independent study, such as our Supported Self Study units and you can monitor learning by having students sign in to leave comments and answer questions within the Blendspace class.
Click here to see an example of a Blendspace that has been used as part of one of our Supported Self Study units. You may even come across some other online tools you like the look of while you're there!
The content in WolframAlpha is made up of algorithms for linguistic analysis for over 1000 different domains, over 10 trillion pieces of curated data from original sources, can compute over 50,000 different algorithms & equations and can present data in thousands of different visual forms such as graphs and tables. (And it's continuously being updated!)
The huge knowledge base contained within WolframAlpha covers so many subjects from maths, statistics and chemistry through to health, music, food and nutrition and education. From the home page you can type anything you would like to calculate or know about in the search box to see what information is stored within WolframAlpha's knowledge base or click on some of the images on the home page to see examples of the information records. For example, did you know that the maximum lifespan of a European rabbit is 18 years? Or that humans have 9,000 tatsebuds?
The website and the free versions of the apps could be used for all sorts of lessons, and could be particularly useful for maths and science based subjects. The website and apps will calculate equations or answers to problems that are typed in and show you the process of how to work out the answer. Perfect for learning how to perform complex maths problems.
The Wolfram Group have also developed a number of individual apps such as the Course Assistant Apps for subjects like Algebra and Statistics and the Reference Apps for topics such as Fractions, Stars & Planets and Culinary Mathematics. A lot of the apps have a small charge but using the website version itself is free.
The best thing to do with this resource is to explore it to see what is available and how it would benefit learners in a particular lesson. It would also be very useful for encouraging independent study and research skills.
Any questions or suggestions? Contact us!
We're also here to answer any questions or queries you may have about any of the tools featured or anything related to Blackboard or e-learning generally. Pop in and see us or contact us using the details below.
If you're reading our print version of Free and Easy...
Look out for a link in the Teaching & Learning section on the Staff Portal too.